The next few weeks are going to be do or die for the Palm Pre. With it’s release of June 6th, we will see if this new phone from Palm is going to be able to stand up to the Apple iPhone. Especially when the new 3.0 version comes out by the end of the month.
iPhone has had a very strong showing. It knocked down Motorola’s RAZR and brought the world of Smartphones to the forefront of mobile technology. You can pretty much do anything you need on the phone from take photos, to record and listen to music, check mail and even turn your life over to this amazing device. That is, if you can afford the mobile plan.
Palm has been around for over 10 years in handheld organizers. There have been some reorganizations of the company – changing to PalmOne, for example. Nonetheless, Palm has some technologies and patents they can update and re-use to model this new competitor.
Both have Application stores. Both run 3G and have GPS capabilities. Both will have a 3.0 megapixel camera, WiFi 802.11g and Bluetooth.
Palm will have the advantage for the few who like the Tactile response with a built in QWERTY keyboard. Palm will also have a standard USB port; hopefully I can hook up my standard USB car charger to. iPhone will have the memory advantage with 16 and 32GB of memory where the Pre will only have 8 (7 GB in all reality because the OS will need a part to run).
Both will be expected to have a $199 price tag – if you get a 2 year plan with it. It’s just a question of whether you want Sprint, AT&T or if you know how to unlock the phone to use on your favorite carrier.
Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t also talk about the Windows Mobile phones, the Blackberry phones and Android. However, in the last 3 years, only Blackberry has been able to really dent the iPhone market, but they skew the numbers with their 8 versions of phones.
I already hear people talking about how they are going to make the switch. The biggest complaint for the iPhone is the AT&T exclusive contract. I know that in some parts of Wisconsin, I can’t even get service from the AT&T phone. What good is a smartphone if it’s not smart enough to connect to another tower?
I am going to weigh the options in many ways. First of all, we’ll see what happens with the Pre in the first couple weeks – if there is a major problem, it will surface quickly. Second, we’ll watch the financial reports. Palm was on the verge of bankruptcy not more than 9 months ago. They have a lot riding on the Pre. If that fails, they might be up the proverbial creek.
The Palm Pre also has another battle to worry about. That is the Sprint factor. Sprint has not been doing that well itself and they are riding on this phone to make people switch. We’ve seen companies turn around before and this could tip the scales in Sprints’ favor, but you have to remember that this could also topple like a house of cards.
Next, we’ll watch the App stores. One thing that seems to be good business is having a App store with good programs in it. Apple claims they have earned 20-25 million for the Apps alone. That is a good infusion of cash to keep things going. This will be a good infusion in the Palm company.
End result – There will be a good challenge to see who can prevail. Of course I believe that both can survive. The true tests is when Android comes out with their next phone and when Windows Mobile 7 gets released.
In the meantime, enjoy this weeks’ Bitstrips. Then answer the QOTW – Will you get a iPhone or a Pre?